Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Subtle and Cruel Reminders

Nothing to do with the post but it is funny. 

Around three years ago, I wrote about how proud I was being a sportsperson. Keeping in touch with regular games- cricket, football or badminton; it used to be a good feeling. I was playing, running around, and having moments of ecstasy and joy with myself whenever I performed well. This small happiness used to keep me going. I was happy.

I was.

WAS!!

Probably those were the last days of my being on the field regularly. Too many things happened too quickly and caused things to change. Transfer, marriage, daily chores- life became busy. 24 hours seems less; I wanted 30. There were so many things I need to do and was procrastinating. And playing was not even in that list. I thought I am done being a sportsperson. But still, I tried to convince myself that this is not the case. I will be strong and will come out of this eventually. Just a slump, being out of form. I will improve. This cannot go lower.

I was wrong. I could not bluff myself. I had not hit the bottom yet. And did that soon.

During my organization’s annual cricket tournament, while batting, I got cramps. So bad that I could not feel my feet. So bad, I needed people to make me stand. Honestly, it is not a big deal. It happens with professional sportspersons every time. They get it even after continuous exercises; I am just an average guy. So, I should just chill.

For me, it was the lowest point about me a self-proclaimed sportsperson.

I used to despise (silently) my fellow mates whenever they used to get cramps or get unfit during a match. How old they were-22? A 22 year old guy lying flat in middle of the field, waiting for help, looking at people looking at him sympathetically - unacceptable. And if that is the case, please stay at home and play book cricket. The field will not take anyone for granted. Everything evens out. I know it sounds cocky and arrogant but that was the way it was. I could not care less.

That day everything leveled. My pride, arrogance, cockiness- everything. I felt helpless when I could not even stand. I said sorry to all those present 10 times- both for wasting their time and for not being good enough to play. I thought I was fit. Running behind trains, buses and taxis- I always had my daily dose of fitness. I will stand the demands of the game. I did not realize that body is not responding as positively as my brain is. I should have been playing book cricket within the four walls with the kids of the society.

What is the point of all this? You get the idea I believe. EXERCISE!!!!

In my 28 years of existence, I have not done enough exercise. I mean I did not have any separate time for fitness in my day. I did not do enough warm-ups before games. In fact, I used to hate them. Being gifted a lean (slim, rather) body by the almighty; I never had bulging tummy problems or cramp issues. So, I have managed to pull it off for better part of my life. Also, being in touch with sports till the end of college helped me retain the body and fitness- whatever of it I had.

I should have realized that this will end someday. As I got into job five years back, regular sports became a rarity. It was all about playing at weekends if the place is right. Otherwise, you can say bye-bye to them. I bid farewell and the good work in early days helped me hold on to the spirit and shape. And now as I am moving away from field, the reality is becoming glaring. Today, it stares right into my face and often ask- do you have in you?

As of now, NO! The saddest part of this is that I know but I am not doing much about it. I know I need to hit the gym, sweat out and maintain regular fitness regime. And this needs to be a long term process. I will be hitting 30 soon and things will go bad from here if I keep ignoring. Add to that mid life blues/crisis/whatever you call them and one hell of a routine to keep up with.

Around a year back, my body send me a subtle reminder of how things are not improving. Heard of runners’ itch? Well, you used to run regularly. Good. Then you stop it because you need that extra hour sleep. Nothing bad in there. Six months later, your wife tells you that she feels embarrassed taking you out on weekends because you look like her elder brother. It hurts. So you wipe off the dust of your shoes, tie up the laces and swoooooosh from home. Couple of minutes later, you take a breather and scratches your thighs ferociously. That is because as you started running again, your veins expanded and sends the message to brain which it reads as itch. Normally goes away in a day or two but still a strong signal. I got this signal, ignored and paid a good price for it.

Today, I can procrastinate again. And I could have stopped writing about this. My goals, my health should be my problem. Why to make people read about it? But frankly, I want friends and colleagues around me and whatever number of readers I have to remind me of this important task. Exercise, spend some time sweating and get body used to moving. Get the machinery started. Keep it oiled.


Sooner than later, you body will ask for it.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

No Vote for Arvind Kejriwal



In my previous office, I had a boss who was a strong Congress supporter since last 35 years. More than that, he was a bigger BJP hater. I remember hearing him and see him arguing with my other bosses in the run up to Lok Sabha elections 2014 where Congress was expected to get a drubbing. Not many were supporting the ruling party in those days but he kept his stand. And he did try to justify Congress among all the graft and inefficiency accusations. But he never supported BJP. Never did any phrase in praise of BJP come out from him.

My personal opinion that time was that he was being too emotional. And too arrogant. It is OK to have choices and dislikes but hating a political party to this extent that you support other one in spite of evident corruption and shortcomings was too much. But then I saw Aam Aadmi Party and its founder/ leader or whatever, Shri Arvind Kejriwal was doing. And my thinking changed.

If you are in a habit of reading newspaper every day (or headlines), you know that what circumstances led to the formation of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). It is no less than a fairy tale. Kejriwal formed AAP in 2012 and contested in 2013 Delhi Legislative elections and surprisingly, formed government with BJP. He did resign 49 days later, on 14 February 2014, stating he did so because of his minority government's inability to pass his proposed anti-corruption legislation due to a lack of support from other political parties. Exactly one year later, he formed the government again in Delhi with winning 67 out of 70 seats. And this is not a reality show but an example of democracy.

I must say, I was very much inspired and fantasized by AAP’s overwhelming victory at that time. Quitting and then winning with more than 95%- a fantastic democratic coup. I read almost every article in newspapers, editorials, opinions and views trying to understand how AAP managed to outsmart more seasoned parties. The volunteers, the IT cell, the man himself- everybody did the right things. And it was indeed very intriguing. It looked like he had actually learnt politics with keeping his core principals intact. And there was a hope that, as his twitter profile says, Bharat Jaldi Badlega (soon, there will be a change).

A little more than one year to the date and I see in Kejriwal a man who is less CM and more of a whiner. A man whose job is to worry about everything other than his state. A man, who comments on every issue, insults PM on open platforms, defends his mistakes through Facebook and Twitter and thinks that the entire system wants to see him out of Delhi. And a man who is obsessed with the thought that PM Modi is obsessed with him and his government.

For leaders today, being on Twitter and having direct conversations with public is a normal thing. Many ministers, notably Mr Suresh Prabhu and Mrs. Sushma Swaraj are doing it very effectively. But what is not normal is to promote/ endorse fictional items that are provocative and may lead to serious consequences. Kejriwal has made one agenda- post anything that goes against the centre so that his more than 7 million could see it and preach it to create a ripple effect.

Take example and see this one- https://twitter.com/ArvindKejriwal/status/699437799158579200. Arvind Kejriwal, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi posted this picture on Twitter on Feb 15, 2016 when a certain wave of anti-nationalism was strong in the country. This picture has no credible source, no known publisher. It does not take a mastermind to take a shot at what may happen if people actually start taking things seriously. In that time, that should have been the last thing to do. But the CM of Delhi is not that bright and he went ahead- political and social naivety at its best. Come on Kejri Sir, even I do not forward chain Whatsapp messages that are meant for creating only one thing- unrest. You, the CM of India’s capital must be having a sounder head.

And one thing that put the final nail in the coffin was the below post made by Kejriwal Ji on Feb 29, 2016 after a day he was booked in sedition case.

मेरे ख़िलाफ़ देशद्रोह का मुक़द्दमा किया है।
इनकी नज़रों में दलितों, ग़रीबों और पिछड़ों के लिए आवाज़ उठाने वाला व्यक्ति देशद्रोही है। मैं ग़रीबों और दलितों के लिए संघर्ष करता रहूँगा।
एक बात बोल दूँ -मोदी जी से बड़ा देशभक्त हूँ मैं।
मैं पूछता हूँ -देश के टुकड़े और देश की बर्बादी के नारे लगाने वालों को अभी तक मोदी जी ने गिरफ़्तार क्यों नहीं किया? क्योंकि नारे लगाने वाले कश्मीर से हैं और उन्हें गिरफ़्तार करने से कश्मीर में महबूबा मुफ़्ती नाराज़ हो जाएंगी।
हमारे सैनिकों का बॉर्डर पर रोज़ क़त्ल हो रहा है। और मोदी जी जम्मू में अपनी सरकार बनाने के लिए ऐसे देशद्रोही तत्वों को बचा रहे हैं जो देश के टुकड़े करने की बात कर रहे हैं?

Now, this is not about the case. Only Kejriwal ji knows what he did and said in his visits to JNU and related events. I hope media and police and the people involved know better. It is the tone of the message that disturbs me. There is desperation in his message- a desperation of getting noticed and gaining sympathy. Desperation of people should come with him and shed a tear.

Sometimes I really want to be in Delhi and see if Kejriwal has really made some progress in his governance. He is surely making a big progress in his way to become a stupid politician. Taking social media seriously and posting messages which portray a picture that he is being victimised and targeted is just not right. Even Congress, who lost both General Elections and Delhi Elections in humiliating way, has at least maintained this dignity. But Kejri could not. Calling Prime Minister a ‘coward and psychopath’ was the nadir in his hatred driven ‘trying-to-be secular and honest’ attempts. I can talk about him visiting Hyderabad and Dadri and skipping Malda but let us ignore it for time being. 

I don’t have sides in politics. Yes, I do have to believe whatever different news channels are telecasting and then decide which one is the true picture. But certainly, I am not a pro-BJP or an anti-Congress. But today I know I am not going to vote for Arvind Kejriwal or Aam Aadmi Party for a very long, long time. May be there will be some day when he will redeem himself but I sincerely doubt it and I know there is one party I am not going to vote for. I will be like my boss

Let Us Get Our Act together

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